Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Music

The BeatBuddy with its footswitch (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

When musician David Packouz couldn't find a stomp-based drum machine that didn't sound, well, like a drum machine or one that could provide fills, changes and accent hits on the fly, he set about designing and building his own. He took his BeatBuddy project to Indiegogo in December 2013 and it went on to raise more than four times its funding goal by the close of the crowdfunding campaign. The first post-crowdfunding production run started shipping at the end of August and Gizmag was offered a system for review. But with my attention focused elsewhere during September (namely the IFA and Photokina trade shows), I had to hold off until mid-October to start spending some quality time with this nifty drummer-in-a-box pedal. And it was definitely worth the wait.  Read More

The pocket-friendly Mikme wireless microphone

The folks behind the Mikme microphone are aiming to make recording inspired moments of creativity as easy as possible, whenever and wherever you happen to be when the muse strikes. Though you can make use of the microphone on the ubiquitous smartphone, the captured audio probably isn't going to be a match for the Mikme's promise of studio-grade quality. The Mikme is also a versatile little beast, able to work as a battery-powered standalone microphone, be cabled to a computer via USB or wirelessly paired with a smartphone running a companion app.  Read More

The Skoog 2.0 is described as a totally new kind of musical instrument

Initially developed for kids with disabilities, Edinburgh-based Skoogmusic has spent the last four years delivering its colorful and tactile Skoog digital music-making instrument to almost 2,000 schools around the world. Now the company is eyeing the consumer space with the development of version 2.0, which benefits from a much-reduced cost of entry, new mobile companion apps, wireless capabilities and battery-powered portability.  Read More

The DNone next generation guitar travel case

For a prized, and likely very expensive, instrument, touring can be fraught with danger. Threats from knocks, bumps and scrapes lurk menacingly at every turn so investing in some form of protection is vital, but not all hard cases are made equal. After noting stagnation in guitar case technology, Timbre Cases founder Peter McMath set about designing the next generation of instrument travel protection. It's taken two years of R&D, but the company is now readying its tough dreadnought-shaped DNone case for release, which features a shock absorbent, water-resistant outer shell, humidity control and recessed wheels.  Read More

The Wearhaus Arc is aimed at making sharing music personal again

Headphones are, by their very nature, a solo experience. They enclose the user with his or her music, and block out the world around them. Wearhaus aims to change that with its new Arc headphones, that promise to allow users to connect with each other by streaming music to other Arc wearers.  Read More

YouTube has launched an invite-only beta of a subscription music service

YouTube's long-rumored music service will soon be a reality, Google announced Wednesday. Dubbed YouTube Music Key, the monthly subscription service launched an invite-only beta with minimal details.  Read More

iRig HD and AmpliTube begin Android invasion

IK Multimedia has announced that its iRig HD guitar interface is breaking free of its iOS/Mac chains and moving into Android territory. Following hot on the heels of Samsung's Pro-Audio SDK 2.0 platform release, IK has now revealed the Android-friendly iRig HD-A and a special version of its AmpliTube virtual rig app.  Read More

When you dive into the app it becomes pretty clear how much effort Parrot has put into its...

Around two years after the release of its Zik headphones, Parrot is again looking to prick up the ears of audiophiles after a wireless listening solution. The Zik 2.0 headphones are to be released next week, and after a little hands on time with its new set of cans, our early observations are they provide an impressive listening experience.  Read More

Gorkem Sen's extraordinary Yaybahar: an acoustic instrument that sounds like a digital syn...

Here's one out of left field. Turkish musician Gorkem Sen has invented a new kind of musical instrument that incorporates fretted strings, coiled springs and drum membranes to create a range of haunting, evocative and beautiful sounds we've never heard before – at least, not this side of a synthesizer.  Read More

Alpine's new iLX-007 is the company's first to feature Apple's CarPlay technology

Apple's CarPlay is a feature designed to bring many of the best aspects of iOS directly to the dashboard of a user's car. Up to this point, not many head units have actually been released outside of Volvo including it in the XC90 and Pioneer's new system. Now, Alpine is jumping into the CarPlay market with the introduction of its iLX-007 head unit.  Read More

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